Starbound Review - Terraria in Space

Steven Bogos

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Jan 17, 2013
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Starbound Review - Terraria in Space

Starbound has been a long time coming. Was it worth the wait?

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Jan 27, 2011
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Question.

Do we FINALLY have some way to change where we beam down onto planets?

Because that's what REALLY cheesed me off the most about the game.

I'm a little Avian dude, I find a little village of fellow Grounded Avians and decide to settle right next to it. ...OH WAIT, it's completely on the other end of the planet from where I beam down from my ship.

That just sucks. If I find a nice place to settle, I wanna be able to get back there reasonably quickly and not have to run for 10 minutes to get back to my main settlement! >: (

Not to mention that sometimes I wanna just make a specific room (or use the roof) to beam down onto/into and not wherever the RNG decided was the planet's "start point", which might be this awkward place that wound up being somewhere in the basement of my house.
 

Benpasko

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Jul 3, 2011
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aegix drakan said:
Not to mention that sometimes I wanna just make a specific room (or use the roof) to beam down onto/into and not wherever the RNG decided was the planet's "start point", which might be this awkward place that wound up being somewhere in the basement of my house.
There has been for a while, actually. You can build a flag with your species insignia on it, and you can beam down to the flag. You can also place a personal teleporter pod if you want to beam down deep underground, or underwater.
 
Jan 27, 2011
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Benpasko said:
aegix drakan said:
Not to mention that sometimes I wanna just make a specific room (or use the roof) to beam down onto/into and not wherever the RNG decided was the planet's "start point", which might be this awkward place that wound up being somewhere in the basement of my house.
There has been for a while, actually. You can build a flag with your species insignia on it, and you can beam down to the flag. You can also place a personal teleporter pod if you want to beam down deep underground, or underwater.
AWESOME. :D

My biggest sticking point, resolved!
 

Madmanonfire

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Jul 24, 2009
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"Where Starbound completely trumps Terraria, and becomes worthy of the "spiritual successor" tag is in scope. Terraria limited you to a single planet, and while there was a bit of progression, with a dungeon, a "hard-mode" and multiple bosses, it's nothing like what Starbound has. In Starbound, you can explore planets, build vehicles, upgrade your ship, make villages, the list goes on. There's just so much more to do in this game, and so many more game systems to play with."

I'm having trouble trusting this review, given this paragraph. It seems like you're seriously downplaying Terraria's scope to make Starbound look better in comparison while not really giving a good idea of how Starbound's scope is supposedly better.

"In Starbound, you can explore planets..."
You can make as many worlds in Terraria as you want, with 3 sizes to choose from and 2 different kinds of "corruption" to be randomly chosen.

"... build vehicles..."
You can find and make a lot of different mounts in Terraria, as well as a few end-game futuristic vehicles that have extremely helpful functions.

"... make villages..."
That's not a unique thing to Starbound. Terraria can do that too. Granted, Terraria only has a couple dozen special NPCs while Starbound might have many more normal NPCs, but villages are still possible.

"... the list goes on."
If the list is a continuation of those kinds of points, it's not convincing enough. Terraria has a really huge scope. It starts you off as a weakling who can barely fend off slimes, and by the end-game you've got devastating weapons, magic, armor, and accessories to shred anything that stands in your way. There are a lot of epic bosses, three "phases" to each world (hard mode is only phase 2), tons of different types of blocks and craftable items to customize your character and villages, several invasion events, side jobs to do like fishing and growing plants, and so on.

I'll give Starbound a try since I already own it, but I won't be expecting any considerable scope difference.
 

Kajin

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Apr 13, 2008
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Definitely going to give Starbound a second chance now that it's gone 1.0, but from the direction they seemed to be taking the game during Early Access... to say it felt like they were siphoning away all the fun and creativity out of the game as I played it would be something of an understatement.
 

EbonBehelit

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Oct 19, 2010
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I'll probably give this another go now that it's out of beta. Not expecting much though, after the disappointment I felt last time.

That being said, the scope of Starbound's game world isn't actually a point I would put in its favour: the quantity over quality approach made for a huge number of worlds that the player would simply run a full circuit around once before leaving and never coming back.

There's something to be said about the virtues of an appropriately sized, non-segmented game world. I like being able to bring up a map and see where I haven't explored yet with a single glance.
 

Elvis Starburst

Unprofessional Rant Artist
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Aug 9, 2011
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Kajin said:
Definitely going to give Starbound a second chance now that it's gone 1.0, but from the direction they seemed to be taking the game during Early Access... to say it felt like they were siphoning away all the fun and creativity out of the game as I played it would be something of an understatement.
I didn't get the game early enough to figure out where this happened, so maybe you could give me an idea of what "direction" they took compared to what it was previously?

All I hope the game did is fix the abysmal lag. The worlds are all rather boring though, so I'll give it a poke eventually, but I don't expect to come back for awhile
 

Fdzzaigl

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Mar 31, 2010
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Played this game for 100+ hours when I got it during early access. So yeah, definitely worth getting into if you haven't already.

With all these building games there comes a point when I just can't help but drop it though. Still, might give it another go.
 

TZO2K12

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Mar 31, 2012
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Yep, lookin' forward to this, as I never bought the EA version, so I can come in on this game fresh! (I never Buy EA games for this very reason)
 

Imre Csete

Original Character, Do Not Steal
Jul 8, 2010
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With 200+ hours and 100% achievements in Terraria, I still don't get the comparison. Terraria is an enjoyable lootfest extravaganza, with ridiculous amount of gear to make and epic boss battles. Starbound is an exploration sim first and foremost. They are both 2D sidescrollers with mining and crafting, so what. Starbound has more sandbox elements with ingame purpose. Terraria has more loot and crafting, and when it comes to building boss arenas, it's pretty cool to mess around. But building a space station on an asteroid belt, or a city under a wasteland planet's toxic ocean is altogether a different experience. They don't scratch the same itch for me, so to speak. I played Starbound for a while in EA, but after a few character wipes, I just stopped, so it's full of pleasant new things for me. Survival mode alone did wonders for immersion.


Madmanonfire said:
"In Starbound, you can explore planets..."
You can make as many worlds in Terraria as you want, with 3 sizes to choose from and 2 different kinds of "corruption" to be randomly chosen.
Well, exploring star systems with multiple planets/asteroid belts is hardly the same as generating new maps and load your character into it. The transition is seamless, only limited by your fuel and tech advancement to visit dangerous planets.

Madmanonfire said:
"... build vehicles..."
You can find and make a lot of different mounts in Terraria, as well as a few end-game futuristic vehicles that have extremely helpful functions.
I give you that, Terraria mounts are more useful, I rarely ever use the ones in Starbound, hopefully the modders will make cooler vehicles to play with. Edit: There's a mech-walker already.

Madmanonfire said:
"... make villages..."
That's not a unique thing to Starbound. Terraria can do that too. Granted, Terraria only has a couple dozen special NPCs while Starbound might have many more normal NPCs, but villages are still possible.
Now you can tend to your estabilished colonies, and recruit NPCs as crew members, which gives you an option to have an away team, Star Trek style. It's even an alternative way to unlock your ship upgrades. NPCs in Terraria are hardly that useful once you get what you want from them. Although I do miss the random events when you have to defend the NPCs.


Madmanonfire said:
I'll give Starbound a try since I already own it, but I won't be expecting any considerable scope difference.
I wouldn't compare the two games to each other, but Starbound has mod support right now (devs said Terraria will get the option eventually, as a proper sendoff), so that alone can warm you up to it considerably.
 

moggett88

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May 2, 2013
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I'll be giving Starbound another try, but have to say that considering the length of development, it shouldn't still be "a little rough around the edges". The horrible UI remains horrible, and I don't know why - players have been constantly feeding back about it being bad for a year, there are plenty of games with similar-but-handled-better systems that they could have "taken inspiration from"...in particular, having to move an item from your inventory to the hotbar, then selecting that space to place it is terrible - just let us pick it out of the inventory and place it.

Simple things like that could dramatically increase the enjoyment I'd take from this game.
 

FirstNameLastName

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Nov 6, 2014
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I've been playing Starbound for most of this morning to see how the 1.0 release compares. Things do seem a bit better, although it does seem to retain that bizarre feeling of pointlessness to about 80% of the mechanics. It's not hard to see where the Terraria/Minecraft comparisons come from, but unlike those games there often doesn't seem to be any purpose to engaging in the majority of its mechanics. They seem to exist because it's expected of these types of games.

You can build a house, just like Terraria, but in Terraria this is done both for practicality and for the creativity of it, but in Starbound it seems to be done just for its own sake. Every play though I've done has made the ship my main base of operations, and what ever the first planet I landed on ends up becoming some kind of extended storage planet where I just fill the starting mine with chests so I can hoard away a heap of junk I'll never use. Plus, you're constantly coming across entire villages filled with buildings far better than most people will ever create.

You can settle down to grow crops for food, but hunger isn't enough of a problem to make it seem worth it, and you aren't really some kind of simple life, agrarian farmer anyway. You have a teleporter that can instantly transport you to the local grocery store, so unless large quantities of food becomes useful later then it too seems to be done for the sake of it.

The technological progression seems to be rather insane as well. In my current play through I went from a wooden bow and iron armor that I crafted myself, to a rocket launcher, two grenade launchers, a pistol, and a full space suit, all within the space of about fifteen minutes. I get that the hunting bow has utility outside of combat, but I kind of feel like I just skipped several millennia of progression here.

In fact, practically every single aspect of Starbound feels like it suffers from that same weird conflict between a vast, open universe filled with high tech gadgets, massive procedural generated structures, an economy where you can by anything you want ... and a bunch of game mechanics that seem to think they're in the type of game where you're lost in the wilderness, alone, and need to survive.
I like these types of games, but I don't tend to care for mechanics that seem to just exist for their own sake. As creative as it is to build a house, I'd rather it also serves some kind of purpose besides eating up time.